Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bombay Rain

Bombay Rain- Jammed Roads and Filled Tracks.

Love, warm snacks, brown water.

It's got a way of touching you in a way no other can. That embraces you so completely that you never think of it as anything but home. Some say it's too professional, the city has no emotion, the people are pure indifference. But for some reason, while all these allegations hold weight, it never seems to matter once you're in Bombay.You may love it, or hate it, or tire of it, or thrive in it- but you've got to feel for it. More importantly, it never can leave you. The smell of the sea (stench some may say) becomes second nature to you. Crowded streets, cramped buildings and big, red BEST buses with tired, rude drivers, who are efficient nevertheless. Slums, black and yellow Fiat taxis from South Bombay to Bandra. The Gateway of India. Haji Ali. The Taj. Bandstand and reclaimed areas. Chowpatti and the Queen's necklace. Local Trains- lifelines. Constant motion, with everyone always looking busy; everyone always headed somewhere, in a hurry, with a purpose. Food stalls and shady little temples; the Divine for whom busy people do spare a minute. Long line to Siddhi Vinayak on Tuesday mornings. Juhu. Malabar Hill. Malad. All wrapped in one, the elite. Their fingers tightly, yet quietly interlocked with blue-collarers. Warm pav vadas (or vada pavs, the order of the words is a much debated issue). Bombay rain. The most refreshing, invigorating sort of rain there is. It comes down slowly, surreptitiously, before you know it. And before you have your black umbreallas and raincoats out, brown water threatens to touch your knee. Wading through the water to catch the train, board the bus, get to school, work or the grocers. You fold your jeans up, take your socks off and walk right through it. Complaining is not particularly efficient. A Bombay-ite rarely considers complaining worth the while. The rain comes down, continuously, heavily. You can sit and watch it if you have the time. Or you can brave it, if you don't. Somehow, I never tired of Bombay rain. It's always been symbolic of fresh beginnings and beautiful things to me. Somehow, rain in Bombay has a different feel to it, the aroma touches your soul. Bombay rain is as much a part of the city as the people or buildings are. You don't welcome it or grudge its presence. It's just there, like it was there the previous year, and will be the following year. Even when the water is terrifyingly above standard levels of safety, life in Bombay doesn't stop. A rare holiday greets students. The system runs till the trains do. Once the trains are blocked, a first sign of lethargy is perceived amongst the public. The following day, everything's back on track. That is Bombay. That's the beauty of it all, the magic of the city. A city that gives you its everything, its every opportunity and loyalty, and in return demands a part of you that never can be retrieved. It's just one of those things that touches you in a way no other can.


Vatsala said...

Bombay , meri jaan.